In these episode, Rob talks about he origins of the I.C.E. Training Company, and the Intuitive Training concept. Additionally in the first podcast segment on politics, Rob discusses the proposed Denver City Council ban on the procession of...
In these episode, Rob talks about he origins of the I.C.E. Training Company, and the Intuitive Training concept. Additionally in the first podcast segment on politics, Rob discusses the proposed Denver City Council ban on the procession of unserialized firearms.
What is Intuitive Training Concept? Rob talks about why this is so important in defensive training. He also touches on how competitive shooting is not actually the best practice for those most interested in improving defensive shooting skills.
What is an unserialized firearm? What makes one unlawful to own? Are 80% kits and laser-printed considered unserialized? Is a firearm with a serial number, really safer than one without? Rob talks about this and more.
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Music: I'm Not Running Away by Max Brodie (PremiumBeat)
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Episode 002 - Origins of Intuitive Training Concepts
Rob Pincus: This is Rob Pincus. Welcome to the Rob Pincus Podcast.
Introduction: The Rob Pincus Podcast is brought to you by the Personal Defense Network. The Personal Defense Network is the leading destination of high-quality online personal defense video content and a no-nonsense gathering place for those serious about arming themselves for defense in every aspect of their lives. To learn more, visit www.personaldefensenetwork.com. Now here's Rob.
Rob: Today we're going to talk about the origins of I.C.E. Training Company and the intuitive training concept. I'm also going to talk about some current events. Unfortunately, Denver is about to ban private gun-making with a ban on the possession of unserialized firearms. As I sit here right now at the Western headquarters in Denver, I'm actually printing a gun in another room on my 3D printer and I've definitely made a lot of private unsterilized guns here, especially over the recent holidays because I'm home a lot, there's a lot of downtime, and it gives me a chance to partake in that hobby. If the ban goes through, we'll see what's going to happen in the future as far as where I'm going to be conducting that hobby when I'm not at the eastern headquarters in Florida.
I'm getting ready to go to SHOT Show, of course later this month. That means as soon as the holidays ended, I'm right back on the phone, back onto the emails, planning the schedules, planning the meetings, and I am sure that there's going to be a lot of things to talk about in future podcast episodes from SHOT Show 2022.
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Today, we're going to talk about intuitive training concepts. Now, the word intuitive gets interchanged with a lot of other words and gets thrown around a lot but I want to tell you about the history of why we use it and why it's so important. We sum up intuitive training concept as anything that works well with what the body does naturally. This is really important. Of course, you have to understand what your body is likely to do naturally during a fight but what's really important is that intuitive just means what comes naturally.
If you think about the way you move, the way you learn, the way you integrate with tools, the way you use things that you have to use every day in a very common-sense way, pens, your phone, forks, your car, not just things that you're going to learn specialty skills with and not just things that you're going to use during emergencies but everyday items. How do you use them without formal education? How do you use them without formal training?
If you think about someone who's amateurly playing golf, or amateurly getting into a local league with kickball or something like that, there's not training, there's not coaches, there's not formal development. You pick up the golf club, you head out to the tees, and you start swinging at the ball. Now, you may want to get better at that skill but everybody is going to be able to hit the ball some distance in some direction just simply by picking up the club and having seen other people do it.
Certainly, you'll refine your technique as you go and that would be improvisation. All improvisation is intuitive. It makes sense that if you come up with something on the fly, it's going to be something that works well with the way your body works naturally. It's really the advanced level of physical skill development or tool use that goes away from the way we would use something naturally to get maybe that last 5% or 10% of performance that you can get in isolation, in a very controlled environment. Of course, that's what we see with high-level martial arts practitioners. That's what we see with high-level athletes in one specific sport.
Now, myself, I was never a dedicated student of the martial arts. I never spent a lot of time in any one art. As a kid, I took some taekwondo classes, I was a wrestler in high school, I got into some Brazilian jujitsu, I've taken some other lessons in terms of striking, in terms of grappling, things like that. I've certainly studied the concepts and talked to a lot of the people that are lifetime practitioners of specific arts in developing my own defense style or my own method of training and of course, what I've taught in classes.
Now, primarily, I teach firearms work but in things like our extreme close quarters counter-ambush class or extreme close quarters tactics classes, we have to get into a little bit of grappling, a little bit of striking. Anytime that you think about controlling your gun or controlling another person or controlling their weapon if they're trying to attack you, you're talking about grappling and that's going to involve judo, that's going to involve wrestling, it's going to involve any of these types of skills that you might pick up in the form of martial arts but I was a dabbler and I really think that in this case, that has served me really well.
When it comes to developing intuitive training concepts, working well with what the body does naturally, not being a specialist in any one form, and not being a specialist in any one style actually serves me really well and I think it serves our programs really well. Similarly, I was never a really high-level athlete. In college, I dabbled in sports but I was not going out for the varsity teams and I was at a relatively small school anyway. Even if I had made a team, it wouldn't have been all that great of an accomplishment really in terms of athleticism.
The people who play D1 sports, people who get into professional-level sports, even people that just at this point, the way they have the kids in year-round sports, going to club ball and going to special camps and all this at a relatively young age, we see kids who really specialize in one sport. I was playing two, three, maybe even four sports a year all the way up through high school. When I got to college, again, like I said, I dabbled in sports but I was really doing at the Military College, obviously, a lot of other athletic physical things that weren't just organized sport team events.
Once again, a varied approach to physical skill development and a somewhat casual approach to insert my performance in terms of not trying to get scholarships or get on certain teams that were hard to get on to, anything like that. I enjoyed it. I look at some of the kids today that are forced into one sport, they have to play year-round, they get a lot of high-level coaching, they get really, really good at that sport and they may obviously develop general athleticism but I wonder how well they can apply that athleticism to other sports as opposed to someone who is playing two or three sports all year round for multiple years and they can hang out with their friends and play frisbee, they can hang out with their friends and play football, they can hang out with their friends and do other things that aren't just as specialized.
Again, that comes back to this working well with what the body does naturally. Later in life, I found functional fitness through CrossFit, through kettlebells. Of course, we had our Fit Shot program that we developed. You can learn more about that Personal Defense Network. All of these things are designed to help people who don't want to be specialists. How does this translate into training? How does this translate into defensive firearms training especially? Well, again, let's go back to my roots. Early experimentation.
Largely, I did not go through any formal training until into my teens and certainly into my 20s when I started some of my arm professional career aspects of my life. It was just shooting in the backyard, shooting in the sandpits, shooting in areas where there was no real supervision, there was no coaching, there was no formal discipline to how I was going about developing my skills.
Again, the only thing that was left was improvisation. I read the magazines, I might have seen some things on TV, got my hands on some training manuals. My father was a police officer, although he wasn't really a gun person. We didn't do a lot of shooting together. He introduced me to firearms, firearm safety, and certainly let me have access to firearms and conduct the shooting that I was doing, again, out in the backyard out in the sandpit as I was growing up.
Again, being that it was unsupervised, it just had to be working well with what the body does naturally and this is another extension of the intuitive training concept, working well with the tool at hand. If the gun wasn't reliable, in other words, if I had been limp resting, as we used to say, or if I had had an unsupported shooting platform, well, then I would have had to have changed something and there wasn't a coach. There wasn't a guru, there wasn't a real mentor in this space standing there next to me telling me how to stand. Inevitably, what ends up happening is some very natural intuitive skill development.
Moving into the '90s, even after I had formal training and was working in law enforcement, working in the private security business, I really began getting intrigued with the idea of unsighted fire. The idea that the very formal way that qualification courses were run in a formal basic level, the instruction I was getting was so dependent upon using that front side, my body being very isolated, very rigid, isometric tension, bladed stances, all of these types of things just really didn't make sense to me in terms of a very fluid and applied skillset. Part of that was unsighted fire.
Of course, by then I was studying and influenced by guys like Rex Applegate, Lou Chiodo. These guys really were brave enough to say, "What we are doing over here super formally to get high-performance scores in isolation probably isn't what we should be doing to develop skills that we can apply when we most need them for personal defense." Ultimately, in the late 1999, early 2000 timeframe, I was introduced to the teachings of Tony Blauer and the stuff that he was doing in the unarmed defensive realm working well with what the body does naturally and his idea of integrating even the natural startle reactions and what he referred to as a flinch, which we now refer to as the natural reactions that happen when we are overwhelmed or ambushed was really breakthrough moments for me.
Seeing how it was done, seeing how traditional skills were being married to what the body does naturally in reaction to an ambush and then what the body does well in the context of a fight. That was incredibly important. I'm sure that we're going to end up doing a podcast episode on the counter-ambush training methodology which goes much, much deeper than this, but really, the most important piece that came out of that era was contextually appropriate training. That's a little background on how we develop the intuitive training concept, how I come to thinking that this is not only a great idea but a really positive way for people to develop skills.
This is something I've watched people do now for over two decades. As an educator in this space, this isn't just theory that's developed in the backyard or in the bathroom stalls so to speak. It's really things that I've seen work. I've seen it work at all levels of skill development, helping people understand how to use their body and helping people understand the ways to train on the range that are going to reflect the way they will apply their skills in the real world. This is what I've done for 20 years and we've seen it work. Work well with what the body does naturally, work well with the way your gear works, and of course, always try to train in a way that is contextually appropriate to the way you want to apply your skill.
Moving into our next segment, I want to talk to you a little bit about Second Amendment Organization. I am the executive vice president of Second Amendment Organization, and we are a grassroots gun rights advocacy group. What's really important to us is that we help others become responsible gun rights advocates. We want people to be educated. We want gun owners to be articulate. We want everybody to understand some really basic things like advocacy happens outside of the gun community. You won't see us doing a lot of fearmongering and fundraising, beating the drum about the threat that's out there.
I think most gun owners realize that our rights are under attack and the kinds of gun owners that are going to be articulate responsible representatives of the gun community, well, they know what those attacks are. We'll put out the alerts. If you go to 2ao.org, you will see some blog articles about specific threats. You will also learn what our positions are. We have some position statements on over 60 topics related to gun rights and gun control efforts that are working against us. You can read those there and become a more educated advocate.
From time to time, we put out videos and some other articles that will help you understand how to be an advocate specifically for certain aspects of the attacks against our gun rights. That's 2ao.org. Of course, you can donate there as well to help support the cause and the efforts that 2AO is going through every day, usually in the background, to help defend our rights. Check that out after the podcast.
Right now, we're going to get into what is become a really important topic to me. As I mentioned earlier, it's very personal, is specifically to my Western headquarters. The proposed Denver unserialized gun ban, which could be voted on this month and is quite likely to pass if it does get voted on in front of the City Council. I'll talk specifically about how I know that and I have that dire prediction in a minute, but first, let's talk about what unserialized guns are.
First of all, there's more were to unserialized guns than just simply saying ghost gun or thinking of someone quickly and easily making a gun in a back room and then selling it to some nefarious criminal that they know shouldn't have a gun. That's really what the fear is at the Denver City Council, I believe, and I think across much of the population that lives outside of the gun community and just doesn't understand the fact that an unserialized gun can mean a lot of things and certainly not all of them nefarious.
First, let's talk about the worst kind of unserialized gun, and that's a firearm that has had the serial numbers purposefully removed by a criminal. Obviously, removing the serial number in and of itself, there's not really any articulate good reason you could come up with. I've struggled to find any way that we could talk about responsible gun ownership and say, "Well, I'm removing the serial number because." Now, the only thing that comes to mind would be the inadvertent removal of the serial number, but it's really a stretch.
Most gun owners are very aware that you cannot remove a serial number legally, that there's reason to remove a serial number for any practical purpose, but things like dehorning or the radical meltdown type treatments, I have seen some of them done where they might affect the readability of some of the numbers on a serial number depending on where that serial number is on metal-framed guns, but that's really it.
In one case, I'm aware of a firearms dealer, an FFL who told someone who took delivery of a melted down pistol that they might want to be really careful about ever having that done again because it did damage one of the numbers in a serial number. Of course, that wasn't on purpose. That was just something that happened incidentally to the meltdown process, trying to remove all of the rough edges on a carry gun.
That's something that you don't see done much anymore anyway because most of the carry guns of course are polymer-framed and the metal serial number plate is in a place where any stippling or work you're going to do on the plastic isn't going to affect those numbers. Other than that, removing the serial numbers on a gun is something that that's very hard to imagine happening accidentally and therefore in and of itself is a criminal enterprise. That's something that we're not going to support as responsible gun owners.
The next class of unserialized guns is probably the least nefarious and that's simply older guns. Antique guns or guns even made in the early part of the last century did not need to have serial numbers. Of course, there was no federal firearms licensee system to record those serial numbers anyway. Even if an older gun has a serial number, just like your television might have a serial number, it doesn't mean that there's a record of it inside of the federal system. That makes it an untraceable gun.
Now, these are legally owned guns. In many cases, these are very coveted family heirlooms or older guns that aren't made anymore. These are special and important guns to many gun owners and gun-owning families, especially, and there's nothing nefarious about them. The proposed ban, because it goes against all unserialized firearm possession, would essentially mean that anyone living in Denver would have to divest themselves of these possessions. Of course, that's not going to be compensated in any way by the City Council or any other aspect of the Denver government. They're telling you, "No, you can't have that family heirloom. No, you can't have that collectible firearm anymore because we're worried about ghost guns."
Let's talk about ghost guns, specifically. Ghost guns, that term has taken on a negative connotation in the media and in the mass public over the last several years. In fact, I even see people inside of the gun community now who don't want to use the term ghost gun. They're avoiding using the term ghost gun because it means something bad. Well, no, it doesn't. This is one that I really think we need to form a wall on and be part of.
First of all, in the modern age when we talk about SEO or search engine optimization, when we talk about using search engines, and as I said earlier, advocacy happens outside of the gun community. If someone wants to learn about what the media is talking about or what the politicians are decrying as this huge threat to our safety, they're going to search for the term ghost guns, so it's really important that we are also talking about the truth about ghost guns.
One of the things that I see over and over again over the last couple of years are, and I've had a media reach out and contact me for comment on this idea that there's this huge spike in crime related to ghost guns, particularly guns that are privately made, kit guns. Not so much the 3D-printed guns, but really the guns that are made from what we colloquially and for marketing purposes call 80% Lowers.
These kits that are turned into guns, of course, are unserialized and unregistered. It's legal to do in almost every state all over the country. Even Massachusetts and California have processes where you can privately make guns through the kit process or in any other way. These ghost guns that are off the record and don't go through the normal federally-licensed firearm dealer system, most of them are made by hobbyists. Most of them are made just for fun.
They're made for the creative aspect, for the engineering learning aspect, for the customization, the fact that you can do anything you want to it, 3D printing any color you want, shape, skippling, logos, your name, whatever you want even as a marking, even as a serialized gun. I would argue that many of my 3D-printed guns, for example, are serialized because they have my initials or they have a date or they have a version number or something like that on them, but of course, those serial numbers aren't registered anywhere.
I think that's what bothers people who watch honestly a lot of crime TV. They think this idea of tracing guns is important. The reality is that almost no crimes are solved by finding a gun, running the serial number, going through several layers of tracing, by the way, to try to figure out who legally purchased the firearm and then going to that person's house and finding out, lo and behold, they were, in fact, the criminal, or they can tell you who had the gun and who committed the crime that you're interested in.
It just really doesn't happen outside of TV, hardly ever if at all. It's important to understand that once a gun is manufactured, that numbers are written down. The gun is sent into a wholesaler or to a distributor once or twice, written down again in other books, then it's sold to a retailer, that retailer writes it down in his book. Then it's sold through a legal purchase involving a background check to someone else and that dealer writes it down.
Law enforcement literally has to go through each one of those steps because there is no registry at any state or federal level, well, at any federal level, some states do have registries, sorry, again, an infringement of our Second Amendment rights, but at the federal level, there's no registry. Literally, the ATF has to go to the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the wholesaler, to the retailer, and then to the first purchaser. If that purchaser sold it legally and privately someone, he has no obligation to keep any records of that sale and in fact, he doesn't even need to know who that person is, and that could exactly be where the trail ends.
Obviously, if a gun is stolen from someone, then we're not going to know who has it. That person who had it stolen from them, isn't going to be able to tell you either, or they would've gotten it back or that gun would be in an evidence locker somewhere and not out being involved in this crime and then found at the crime scene the way it is in the movies.
I understand the logic. I understand the thought process that someone thinks, oh, a gun that can't be traced is somehow going to be used in a crime and then we're not going to be able to solve the crime. The problem is there's this weird assumption that these guns are going to be used in crimes in the first place. Over 400 million guns in circulation, we've got by some estimate, six or seven million new gun owners in the last couple of years. There's over a hundred million gun owners in America alone, and guess what, very, very, very, very few violent crimes.
When you hear these numbers about lots of crimes and lots of increase in ghost guns involved in crimes, you got to ask the follow-up question, what percentage of those crime increases are violent crimes? Because if it's merely someone possessing a gun and they get pulled over for a DUI and the gun gets confiscated, and oh, turns out it's a ghost gun.
If there's a gun turned in for any other reason, if there's other things which I'm not saying are okay or good, but other criminal activities; selling drugs, domestic violence, and the gun gets found, or someone is a criminal who's served their time but has not had their rights restored and they are in possession of one of these guns, that again is going to be a crime that is tied to ghost guns, but it's not a violent crime.
There may be something wrong, there may be something it needs to be fixed, but it's not the fault of the gun and it's certainly not the gun problem that results in domestic abuse. It doesn't result in a DUI. It doesn't have anything to do with the drug selling. The possession of the gun is a crime and in many cases, that's simply what's being reported is that there's a lot of ghost guns out there.
Now, if someone is building guns specifically for the purpose of selling them to people that they know can't legally buy guns, that's a problem, but that's not a problem with hobbyist private gun making. Hobbyist private gun making is something that's done safely and responsibly by hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions of people every year, and it's a growing hobby.
As the participation in our Gun Maker's Matches and our private gun-making education days that we've been holding all over the country show, lots of people are interested in this. The kinds of people who are interested in it are the most responsible, safest, and in my opinion, the most educated gun owners. They're the least of our problems in society.
When I have a conversation, which I did last month, with a Denver City Councilwoman, and she tells me that, it's not really a big deal because there's no ranges in Denver anyway. When she tells me that it's okay, because people in Denver can still own the parts, in fact, they can even buy the kits as she's been told by the city attorney, so therefore it's not an infringement on our Second Amendment rights, I tell her, and I tell the entire City Council they're wrong.
The idea that just because there's no ranges in Denver means this isn't going to affect anyone is nonsense. If you ban the possession of something that I've owned for years, or it's been in my family for multiple generations, you are depriving me of my property. If you tell me that I can't engage in private gun-making, you are affecting my ability to exercise my Second Amendment rights.
To tell me that I can still own the gun or the parts as long as I leave the City County of Denver, put it together, finish my gun project, shoot it at another range, and then apparently, I need to destroy it before I come back into Denver, you're being at least disingenuous and possibly willfully ignorant. I hope that the Denver City Council reconsiders. I don't expect them to change their mind about ghost guns, I expect them to change their mind, I'm hopeful that they will change their mind about the rights of the citizens of the City and County of Denver who are responsible gun owners and want to engage in the hobby of private gun making and wanna keep the private property in some cases that are really incredibly important family heirlooms and very valuable collectible items.
Let's hope that there's a change but the momentum and the trend is towards this ban. I'm sure I'll be speaking about that more, including how I deal with it because currently, I do possess several unseized guns legally as part of my private gun-making hobby inside the City and County of Denver. We'll see what happens in the future with that.
Again, if you want to learn more about those private gun-making educational events, the Gun Maker's Matches, you can go to gunmakersmatch.com or learn more through Guns For Everyone. They're a Denver-based national nonprofit, Guns For Everyone National, and they are the ones that are behind the Gun Maker's Matches. We do work in conjunction with Firearms Policy Coalition also.
Well, that about does it for this podcast episode. I really appreciate you listening. I'm going to remind you one more time, head over to the website and subscribe to this podcast. If you don't subscribe, you won't get the alerts and because we're new, I think it's really incredibly important that you subscribe, that way, you will get those alerts and this will become part of your regular listening repertoire, one of your habits that you develop.
Every couple of weeks tune into the Rob Pincus Podcast, learn something about training, get an update about gun rights. We'll talk a little bit about politics. I've got some guests coming up in future episodes. I'm really looking forward to that. As I mentioned in that first segment on the training concepts, we'll be talking about the Counter Ambush Training Methodology that we've developed at I.C.E Training in the next episode. Thanks for listening.
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